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Mystery Continues in Missing EgpyAir Flight; : Early Theory Bomb Took Down Plane; Trump and Clinton Lose No Time Speaking About Missing Plane; Clinton and Sanders Battle for Nomination. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 19, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... CBS newsman Morley Safer was all about the story not the person telling you. He was throughout his long career at the network and especially at 60 Minutes famously, publicly, uncomfortable with life on camera. Yet somehow his face became a calling card perhaps because it came with that voice, that warmth with that eye for the essential truth in any story.
Today, words on TV lost one of their best friends and greatest champions. Morley Safer died today. He was 84.
CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: The last moments of EgyptAir Flight 804.
This is CNN tonight. And I'm Don Lemon.
Here's what we know right now. The plane takes off at 11.09 p.m. local time on Wednesday from Charles de Gaulle airport with 66 people on board, due to arrive in Cairo about three and a half hours later. Greek controllers talk to the pilot when the plane is near the Greek island of Kea at 3700 feet, at an air speed of 5019 miles an hour.
Everything seems normal. At 2.27 a.m., shortly before the plane should be exiting Greek air space, controllers try to reach the pilot to transfer control to Cairo, there is no response.
The plane passes into Egyptian air space two minutes later. After 40 seconds more, radar contact is lost. According to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority the Airbus A320 vanishes, so far without a trace.
U.S. officials early theory, this is a terror attack, possibly a bomb, but no indications yet of an explosion.
Meanwhile, the candidates are going head-to-head on the politics of terror. Hillary Clinton saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It does appear that it was an act of terrorism, exactly how, of course the investigation will have to determine, but it once again, shines a bright light on the threat that we face from organized terror groups. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Donald Trump saying this, "Ask Hillary who blew up the plane last night. Another terrible but preventable tragedy, she has bad judgment and unfit to serve as president at this delicate and difficult time in our country's history."
CNN is following every single of this story around the world. Richard Quest is in Beijing, Arwa Damon is in Cairo, Atika Shubert is Paris, and Evan Perez is in Washington.
Richard Quest, we'll begin with you. We don't know for sure that it was terror, so walk us through what we know right now.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Really your summary at the beginning of the program, Don, hit it spot on. You have a plane flying at 37,000 feet, you have a message earlier on in the flight and everything seems normal. In fact, the Greeks describe the pilot as being cheerful.
You have then a 30-minute gap and a transfer of from one aircraft or from one air traffic controller to another. That does not happen because the plane does not respond. And then the plane seems to have fallen out of the sky.
If you are look at satellite radar data, it literally just comes to a stop. Also though, the Greeks say there is this weird radar track where the plane appears to swerve to the left and then go 360 degrees around.
Now put all this together, Don, and you and I have talked about these plane incidents on many occasion, you've heard me say before, planes don't fall out of the sky at 37,000 feet for no obvious or apparent reason.
And there are really only two things here, that you are talking about bomb and terrorist nefarious activity or you're talking about mechanical failure which may be compounded by pilot error.
At the moment, at the moment in the absence of any other evidence, people are leaning, the security forces are leaning towards the security situation, the security solution. We just don't know. But in this situation, we are going to have to wait for those black boxes.
LEMON: To Evan Perez in Washington now, Evan, U.S. officials were quick to say that the likely cause of Flight 804 crash was terror and it was likely downed by a bomb, how did they come to that conclusion so fast?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Don, those are the only operating theories at this point. I don't think they've made any conclusions, they certainly haven't ruled out the mechanical possibilities that Richard just talked about.
And I think one of the things that is stuck out about this incident is that simply, we are talking about a very modern sophisticated aircraft that from all appearances a well-maintained aircraft.
We -- from talking to officials, they believe that there was something wrong going on the mechanical functions of this aircraft. There are redundancies built into this aircraft that would allow these pilots to radio for a distress signal if something going wrong.
If there is even somebody trying to break into the cockpit perhaps some kind of hijacking attempt, there were three security officials on the aircraft who perhaps would have been given time for some kind of mayday situation.
[22:05:01] Again, these are theories right now because they haven't recovered the wreckage and they haven't recovered these black boxes. But right now, one of the things that they are doing is focusing on the people on this plane, and not for any other reasons simply because they want to know more about them, because that is where this investigation begins.
LEMON: Arwa Damon in Cairo, the plane was headed towards where you are, a massive search effort is underway for Flight 804 wreckage, what can you tell us about that?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is quite a bit of conflicting information throughout the entire day, Don. At one point, we actually thought that the wreckage had been found after the vice president of EgyptAir said that they had located at least a portion of it.
He then retracted that statement and apologized for the misinformation. What we do understand though, is that the area where the plane went down is about 120 or 130 nautical miles to the north of the Egyptian coast.
We do believe that at some stage during the day, some debris had been spotted, it was unclear as to whether or not that debris was actually part of this aircraft, and there is a fairly intense search effort that is underway.
The Egyptians are taking part, the Greeks are helping out, there are some assistance coming in from other nations as well. But as been reported throughout the entire day, time is really of the essence here, and the longer this goes on, the more difficult this is going to be to find the wreckage. And of course, without the wreckage, one really is not going to be able to get any of those crucial and critical answers, Don.
LEMON: So, the plane was leaving Paris, and that's where Atika Shubert is. Atika, the plane stopped in Asmara in Eritrea and Tunis before landing in Paris, but the aircraft was swept by security in Paris. What are French official saying about security there?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It was given to all clear before it took off. And what airport authorities are telling us is that the airport was already on the high state of alert, the highest state of alert for several months now. And what means is that any person now that have access to that secured area have to be checked by police, they have their personal walkers are regularly and randomly check and swept, so it is very tight security here.
And what they're looking at is to see whether or not there were any weak links, if in fact, there was a bomb on board, then was it somehow placed by somebody in this airport vicinity. This s what the investigators are looking at, so far, however, Don, there have been no red flags.
LEMON: Richard Quest, can we discount mechanical failures or issues?
QUEST: No, we most certainly can't. And I'm glad you asked me that, Don, because it allows me to redress to some extent the preponderance of bomb and terrorist possibilities. There are a number of scenarios where you have the plane suffering either a major catastrophic structural failure or you have an avionics failure which is then compounded by the way that the plane may be being flown by the pilots.
And in this regard, we have two very good examples. We have Air France 447 nine years ago, and we have Air Asia over the Java Sea two years ago. In both of those cases the plane falls out of the sky, you wonder what happened, but then you pin it on two issues, first the pitot tube and then secondly the circuit breakers.
In both cases, the pilots became overwhelmed with a series of mechanical failures, and the way that the plane was then flown eventually led it to stall. Now what I'm going to be looking for in the next day or so is any form of data, any form of ACARS information from the satellite that tells us what was happening on the plane.
We can learn a lot from that just at this particular stage. Secondly, further radar tracks. So far all we have had are the Greeks talking about this swerve to the left, and 360 to the right, but we have not had that confirmed by anybody else. Was that a -- was that a movement by the aircraft or was the aircraft falling out of the sky? Don, do not discount mechanical just yet, please.
LEMON: Evan Perez, I have to ask you this, security at Charles de Gaulle airport has been really under scrutiny for a while. In fact, dozens of airport employees were fired because of suspected ties to extremists groups. Does that evidence point to an inside job here?
PEREZ: Well, you know, not yet. I think the French authorities would be the first to tell you that they know they have a big problem, and certainly speaking to the French intelligence officials just a couple of weeks ago in a meeting I had in London, they said that they know that this summer is one that they are going to be really on high alert.
[22:10:01] They know that there is soccer championships in the next month in France that they know they have their hands full with Islamic extremists. We know we've had a couple of attacks in France in the last year or so and in Belgium more recently, Don, but they've really said that they think that they've done a lot to redress those security concerns at Orly and at Charles de Gaulle.
But the question is whether or not that they can comb through the people, the name of the people who had access to this aircraft in the last -- before it left France, before it left Paris and whether can find anything that gives them clue as to what happened here.
LEMON: Arwa Damon, let's talk about the passengers on board. Sixty six people perished on board the flight, including three children, what can you tell us about them?
DAMON: Well, of the 66, you did have these three children there and that's especially difficult. Although, it has been phenomenally challenging emotionally and understandably so for the families of those who did die.
And now, of the 66, 56 were passengers of the other 10, 3 were security officers. Now you will always normally have at least one security officer on board, in this particular case, there were three, you don't know exactly why at this stage there were so many security officers on board, and then of course, you had the seven crew members.
The families were gathered at the airport in Cairo at least those who were in Egypt at the time of the crash, and many of them when they first arrived in the morning were quite shocked, but then as the day wore on and as they were leaving this facility, that there were, they had been initially brought to various hotels, they were in many instances overcome with emotions.
Some of them quite angry at the Egyptian intelligence and information distribution mechanisms, wanting to know a lot more about what had happened and of course, the big question that everyone is asking, why it happened.
We actually spoke to one of the journalists, the member of press corps who was saying that a friend of his had seven family members who had died all at once in this particular crash. The actual passenger list, the manifest has not yet been made official at this stage.
LEMON: Arwa Damon, Atika Shubert, Evan Perez, and Richard Quest, thanks to all of you.
When we come right back here in on CNN more questions and answers as the investigation intensifies, but the biggest question of all, where is EgyptAir Flight 804? The latest developments, next.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: EgyptAir Flight 804 vanish just over 24 hours ago, so far no trace of the plane or the 66 people including three children on board.
Joining me now former NTSB chairman Jim Hall, oceanographer, David Gallo, and CNN aviation analyst, Les Abend.
Good evening, gentlemen, Thank you for helping us out with the story. Jim, I want to start with you. Both the U.S. and the Egyptians are saying it's terror, as an experienced investigator when you look at the evidence right now, what does it tell you?
JIM HALL, FORMER NTSB CHAIRMAN: Well, unfortunately, the evidence is 3,000 feet deep in the Mediterranean. Until we have the black boxes which is the most important piece of information, and pieces of the aircraft, everything to this point is just speculation.
LEMON: If it was a catastrophic mechanical issue, how would the evidence be different? Would it be different right now?
HALL: Well, unfortunately, the thing that I have been talking about for some time now is using the deployable flight recorders on these aircraft. You know, running the risk every time these events happens, of a huge misunderstanding of international event, because we don't know what happened.
This occurs time and time again, and they are deployable flight recorders that are used in the military have been used for decades which could be floating on the water, and we could have begun the investigation now.
Now we're going to have to go again down 3,000 feet to try to find the recorders before we can really start getting meaningful answers.
LEMON: And you have an issue with your microphone there, Jim, we'll get back to you when we get that fixed.
I want to bring Les Abend here now. Les, the plane was cruising at 37,000 feet. Greek authorities spoke to the pilot at 1.48 a.m. reporting, and this is a quote, that "he was cheerful," then about 45 minutes later "no response and the plane plunged and disappear from the radar. What do you think happened here?
LES ABEND, 777 CAPTAIN: Well, I mean, you've got that expanse of time, something obviously happened, something catastrophic. And my gut as an airline pilot, I'm seeing something that just overwhelmed the crew.
And if that data was correct with reference to all the turns that were involved and of course the dissent which were sort of surmising at this point in time, you know, it says to me, first of all, where is that data coming from?
Is it coming a radar target did it fall apart? But it really says to me is the crew wasn't in control anymore but why weren't they in control? Was it because an event was occurred that they weren't handling it was mechanical or was it possible that there was an explosive device on the plane.
LEMON: Very experienced crew, yet there was no distress call here, so why wouldn't they raise -- and I think, yes, I know the answer to this, because we talked about it during 370, you said that they are overwhelmed so you don't have the time to raise a distress call.
ABEND: Right. And you and I have talked about aviate, navigate, and communicate. And that's what we're going to do. We're the only ones on board that are going to be able to solve the problem, our air traffic controller folks will do the best they can to help us, but, you know, at the end of the day, it's us that ar going to do it.
And we can't always get right to the problem. If we don't -- if we don't -- if we have to assess the problem first and we don't know the problem is it's not on our checklist, we don't know what to communicate.
So, you know, we've got to work some of this out first. Or maybe they did try to get a distress call out, and the electrical system was shutting down and there was no way for them to communicate.
[22:20:00] LEMON: If there's a delay, and, you know, one agency takes control or one agency says when they hand it off, you have to manually switch signals or any sort of communication, could that have been a problem or issue?
ABEND: No, because they would have had to verbally communicate into Egypt's air space, so they knew a frequency change was coming up, as a matter of fact that's probably why the Greek air traffic control folks were trying to get a hold of the pilots on board to say, hey, here is your frequency change, contact the Egypt air traffic controllers.
LEMON: OK. So, they would be in contact with someone at all points.
LEMON: David Gallo, the search in the Mediterranean is going to resume at first light. Let us about the area, how do you search and do search and rescue operation, how do you hunt for debris here?
DAVID GALLO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the trick is whether it's on the surface or beneath the sea is to be methodical about it, and you want to cover every square foot of that ocean and of that sea, and every square foot of eventually, every square foot of the sea floor.
So, it's going to take coordination, it's going to take a knowledge of what sensors are out there and what platforms they're on. Having a -- it's like inviting people to come mow your lawn and if everybody shows up with a different lawnmowers and different ideas about what your yard should look like, you're going to end up with a mess, so it takes an awful lot of coordination.
LEMON: What is that area like?
GALLO: Well, right now, I can tell you the sea is fairly smooth and is fairly calm, that's good news. The sea floor itself is deep. The average depth might be around 2 to 2.5 miles, so it's 3 to 4,000 meters deep.
The bottom, muds and sediments from the Nile River, and so it's fairly smooth and flat compared to some of the things that we have had to deal with in the past where we were looking at underwater mountains.
LEMON: When we were talking about 370, and that was a vast remote area, and this is not the same. This is heavily trafficked or at least there is more traffic in this than as in 370? GALLO: Yes, there is more ship traffic, Don, but, you know, it's not
a lot. I took a look at it as soon as I heard about the tragedy this morning, I took a look at the ships in the area, and there were a handful, most of them container ships on their way transiting back and forth.
But, the one advantage that you have here is that it's fairly close to land as compared to two or three or four or five days just to get out to the search site, so they are fairly close to land.
LEMON: So, Jim, you said the information will come from the black boxes, how quickly can investigators determine if it was terror once they recover that, and I would imagine you would think that that would be the first part recovering that.
HALL: I'm sure that they will probably go to the French laboratories and be read out right away. Of course, there is some information from the air traffic control, but the important information given the circumstances this you all have been describing is going to be on the black boxes, and that information is so critical, and it is so frustrating that we don't have it.
LEMON: Jim Hall, Les Abend, and David Gallo, thank you, gentlemen.
When we come right back, the early theory among U.S. officials, this was terrorism. But who might have been responsible for this, and should you worry about your next flight?
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The early theory among U.S. officials is that EgyptAir Flight 804 was taken down by a bomb, but there's been no claim of responsibility yet.
Joining me now, Rafi Ron who is the former director of security for Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion Airport, and Ambassador James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence.
Good to have both of you on. Thank you so much. Ambassador Woolsey, I'm going to start with you. The early theory right now they said it's terrorism, possibly a bomb. What do you think?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: It looks that way, because almost all other possibilities are excluded in one way or another if you're gone through the dialogue. I think some kind of mechanical malfunction is possible, I've been saying maybe this is sort of an 80/20 proposition that it was a bomb. But the 20 percent possibility that it was something else still exist.
LEMON: Rafi, you believe specialist's attention should be place on the flight crew. Why the crew when so many people have access to the planes at the airport?
RAFI RON, NEW AGE SECURITY SOLUTIONS CEO: Well, first of all, I think that, in the Middle East, there is a history of involvement of people that what we describe as the insiders, and the acts of terrorism. The example at Sharm el-Sheikh was very typical.
We also remember the EgyptAir incident some years ago when the pilot took the plane down. But I have to say that as the more details are coming out, I would hesitate to rule out the possibility that happens sometimes on the ground.
What I do like to play down is the possibility that it is one of the passengers in this case.
RON: Because as far as passengers are concerned, I think the standards are still relatively high, but as far as the rest of it, including airport employees and crew members, the situation is not as good.
LEMON: OK. So, just to pin you down here, do you think it was an inside job, because you said there are so many people involved? You think it was an inside job?
RON: Yes, I believe it is.
LEMON: OK. So, here is why I asked, because we know that Charles de Gaulle stepped up security after the attacks in Paris and in Belgium. They already fired a number of employees over fears of radicalization. So, you know, the biggest areas of vulnerability, and how would someone get a bomb on board, Rafi?
[22:29:51] RON: Well, taking into consideration that an airport like Charles de Gaulle has about 80,000 so-called red tags that allow 80,000 people access to the area where the airplanes are already indicates to the difficulty in controlling who and what is moving into that area.
Keeping and adding to this the difficulty to control elements like perimeter, and other aspects from maintenance facilities to catering and others, add to the result that we cannot say at any level that delivering the bomb into the so-called protected area is impossible at this time.
LEMON: Ambassador, we know that the plane stopped in Eritrea, Tunisia and Cairo before get going to Paris -- getting to Paris. And we know that the plane had people on board from a whole host of countries including Belgium, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, among others, does any of this give you pause?
WOOLSEY: Well, it's all interesting, but I really agree with Rafi, I think the probability of an inside job of some sort, and not necessarily inside the plane at all, but inside the facilities, after all, planting a bomb here is planting something potentially the size of a Coke bottle, and it does need to go in specific places in the aircraft if you want to take the aircraft down and not just blow a hole in something.
But it's I think far more likely that someone who worked in one of the facilities or at one of the airports was able to get something into the plane.
LEMON: Rafi, to you again, when a plane goes through multiple countries like that, you know, it's supposed to be swept each time, correct?
RON: Yes, this is correct. But just imagine that you have to sweep an aircraft, and it is almost impossible. I mean, an aircraft is such a complicated construction, that getting to every little possibility, and keeping in mind that the size of the bomb that can take off the airplane is about the size of two or three cigarette packages.
It is extremely difficult to detect a well concealed device on an aircraft. And I do suspect that the quality of the searches and the swipes that are done at airports, between flights and even when we have an overnight stay, do not meet the challenge.
LEMON: Yes. Hey, Rafi, can I ask you, out of the 66 people on board, 3 of them were security, that seems like a lot, but not sure if it is atypical, is it typical?
RON: Well, the fact that there are three security personnel on board, the three air marshals on board is nothing special in the Middle East. I am familiar with the cases that on the regular basis, they are even more than three air marshals on board.
But I think it's a good indication that if this was -- and if there was an attempt to hijack the airplane, I would assume that the three air marshals were certainly capable of handling it at least slowing it down to the point that they would allow the pilots to report about an event on the board.
So, I certainly rule out this possibility. The possibility that all three air marshals might be involved in such an attack is also not very realistic. So, as far as the air marshals and what is happening in the cabin, I don't think that this should be our focus.
If anything happened, that led to the overwhelming of the cockpit crew, that is something that happened in the cockpit. It did not happen in the cabin.
LEMON: Yes. Ambassador, I asked before the break, should, you know, people be concerned here about their next flight, what this all does mean for our security here at home? Are we safe?
WOOLSEY: I think this is a real vulnerability that we have. We have a large overseas company that has been substituting subcontractor that have a lot of foreign workers in them for companies that have to work in the maintenance and janitorial service, and so forth, and substituting those for companies that tend to employ more American workers.
And it's not that we don't want people who come from the Mideast and here legally to have a job, but we have to be make sure that people are vetted extremely carefully. And that part of the world, the Mideast, is a part of the world where passports are easily bought for $100 and so forth. [22:34:57] So, we, yes, I think we have a vulnerability among the air
crew, the janitorial services, and the maintenance people, and the people who have access to hangars, but are not are able as Rafi said a number of red tags that people can have they can get them through the security is substantial.
We haven't paid much attention to this, instead, we've decided apparently, for instance, in the process of deciding, I think there were some decisions maybe today that we are going to the let in 100,000 folks from the Middle East, I think mainly from Syria, and a fair chunk of those might well go to work in airports without having had really a thorough and effective verification of who they are.
LEMON: Yes. Ambassador Woolsey, thank you. Rafi Ron, I appreciate it as well.
RON: Thank you.
LEMON: Coming up, the politics at terror, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are going head-to-head on terror and how to protect the Americans.
[22:39:58] LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. Still a lot more questions and answers about that missing Egypt airplane and the 66 people on board. But the candidates are losing no time making it an issue on the campaign trail.
So, joining me now, Bob Beckel, CNN political commentator, John Phillips, talk radio host with KABC and a Donald Trump supporter, and Mark Preston, CNN politics executive editor.
Glad to have you guys here as well. John, you first.
JOHN PHILLIPS, KABC TALK RADIO HOST: Thank you.
LEMON: Just before 6.27 this morning, Donald Trump tweeted this, he said "It looks like yet another terrorist attack, airplane departed from Paris, and when are we going to be get tough and vigilant? Great hate and sickness," he says.
So, John, my question is, I mean, that's a pretty fast conclusion to come to the plane had only crashed a few hours earlier, is that what a president Trump will do?
PHILLIPS: Yes. Well, the first thing that we know about these planes, this Airbus 820s is they are very safe planes, they have a great safety record, they don't just fall out of the sky, and all the experts that I am watching on CNN are leaning toward towards terrorism.
So, I do think that it's prudent to be honest about things, and we shouldn't give people the false sense that there is something mechanically endemically wrong with these planes that they're not safe when they go to the airport, they buy a ticket they go on vacation. So, the fact that he is calling it terrorism, to me is a prudent thing they do.
LEMON: So, what's the rush though? What's the rush?
PHILLIPS: Well, why should we bend over backwards to say that it's other than terrorism? I mean, if you go back and look at what happened in San Bernardino, we knew that attack was terrorism long before the government publicly came out and acknowledge it.
If you look at what happened at Fort Hood, Texas, they said that was workplace violence for a long period of time before terrorism was finally acknowledged. So, I think that there is a frustration out there among Trump supporters and among the country as a whole that we do too much bending over backwards to try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
LEMON: Yes. And listen, Mark, I'm trying to understand what John is saying here, but I just don't understand what the rush is to call it it's a horrible situation, and I think that, listen, many Americans may agree with him, but what is the rush? Do we know it's terrorism automatically?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right. So, the question is not that he come out and said it. If we start from Hillary Clinton we've seen it from our experts here on CNN.
LEMON: The question was and then you want to respond.
LEMON: OK. Here is what Hillary Clinton tweeted this, Mark. OK. This is at 1.45 this afternoon, Hillary Clinton said this. Watch this with our Chris Cuomo. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It does appear that it was an act of terrorism, and exactly how, of course the investigation will have to determine. But it once again shines a very bright light on the threats that we face from the organized terror groups, ISIS of course, but then there are other networks of terrorists that have to be hunted down and defeated.
So, we have to really go along with the kind of plan that I've been outlining for months, which is we're going to defeat them on the ground using our air power, equipping and training and supporting Arab and Kurdish fighters. We're going to drive them out of Iraq, drive them out of their stronghold in Raqqah, Syria.
We are going to intensify cooperation among those nations that have a direct stake which I argue is just about every nation right now, but principally European, Arab, and Middle Eastern. We're going to take them on online, and we're going to intensify our intelligence and law enforcement cooperation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, they are very different responses, Mark. Go on with your...
PRESTON: Very different responses, and again, at the core they come to this conclusion that they believe it's terrorism, but it's timing. And what it does, is that what's so egregious that Donald Trump did it today, what he does is that it gives his enemies an opportunity to come out and question his judgment, and Hillary Clinton did that today.
LEMON: Yes, you said that the timing is the timing of this is important.
PRESTON: No question, he came out immediately before we had any idea what was going on, but again, it just allows his detractors to use it against him.
LEMON: So, Bob Beckel, the back and forth didn't adjust in there. Let's listen to more of Hillary Clinton's interview with Chris Cuomo. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: When you run for president of the United States, the entire world is listening and watching. So when you say that you are going to borrow Muslims, you are sending a message to the Muslim world and you are also sending a message to the terrorists because we now do have evidence, we have seen how Donald Trump is being used to essentially be a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism.
I know hard this this job is, and I know that we need steadiness as well as strength and smarts in it. I have concluded he is not qualified to be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. Hang on, Bob, because I want to play this. This is Trump at a rally in New Jersey. And then I'll get your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Bernie -- crooked Hillary. I love this crowd. These are great.
This is my people. This is my people.
[22:45:00] But Bernie sanders said that Hillary really isn't essentially not fit to be president, she is not qualified to be president, and you know why? He said because she suffers from bad judgment.
So today, we had a terrible tragedy, and she came up and she said that Donald Trump talked about radical Islamic terrorism which she doesn't want to use, she use a different term, because she doesn't want to use that term, and she are refuses to use that term.
And I'm saying to myself, and it's a terrible thing and he essentially shouldn't be running for office, he doesn't have the right to run and I am saying, what just happened about 12 hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky, and if anything, and if anybody believes it was not blown out of the sky, you are 100 percent wrong, folks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There you go, Bob, take it away.
BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, let me be a Trump detractor here, first of all, let me say this, Trump tweets at 6.42 in the morning, does the guy ever sleep, one? And two, whoever made him an expert on air traffic safety and terrorism, I mean, he says that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president, who is he kidding? He is barely qualified to build the building.
Now here's the other thing I'd like to point out is that Trump, what Hillary did and it was good and it was tough. She basically said that Trump was a recruiter for ISIS. I don't know if people paid attention to that, but that was a line she used and that's a tough statement. And I think you better you used to having people who are willing to said some tough statements back to him, because he can't defend them.
LEMON: John, you know, we discussed Donald Trump's response, and what did you think of Hillary Clinton's response?
PHILLIPS: I think she essentially said the same thing just hours later, she came to the same conclusion that this is terrorism, she came with the same conclusion that all of the security experts on CNN have come to, because it's obvious. She's admitting the obvious.
LEMON: So, a tweet would have been -- would have suffice do you think would have been helpful for you if she had just tweeted earlier.
PHILLIPS: Look, I mean, it doesn't matter how you do it, you can do it on Twitter, you can do it on television, but acknowledging that it's terrorism is a step, is good step in the right direction.
LEMON: Mark, are Trump's...
BECKEL: You are not...
LEMON: Go ahead, Bob.
BECKEL: I was going to say, you are not going to have a major event like this happen in presidential politics where either or both are not going to be grabbing a hold of it and try to make political hay out of it.
Hillary took on Trump doing it and trump took on her doing it. So, just expect this. Whenever a major story breaks in the United States or around the world, both of them are going to be grabbing a hold of it and try to turn it against the other one.
LEMON: All right. Stay with me, everyone. Mark, you'll get in here in the next segment. When we come right back what Donald Trump has to say about Hillary Clinton's CNN interview today.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Back now with Bob Beckel, John Phillips, and Mark Preston.
OK, John, So, I want you to listen to this and audience very clearly. Because here is what how Trump responded to Chris Cuomo's interview with Hillary Clinton earlier today.
He released a statement tonight saying, "The fact that Hillary think that temporary Muslim ban, which she calls the Muslim ban," and he has it in quotes, "promotes terrorism proves Bernie Sanders was correct when he said she is not qualified to be president. Look at the carnage all over the world including the World Trade Center, San Bernardino, Paris, USS Cole, Brussels and an unlimited number of other places."
"She and our totally ignorant president won't even use the term radical Islamic terrorism. And by the way, ask Hillary who blew up the plane last night? Another terrible but preventable tragedy. She had bad judgment, and is unfit to serve as President at this delicate and difficult time in our country's history."
I think he hedge there. That was sarcasm. John, what is Trump implying when he says, quote, "And by the way, ask Hillary who blew up the plane last night, another terrible but preventable tragedy." Is he blaming it on her?
PHILLIPS: No. I think he's listing a litany of frustrations, of legitimate frustrations that the American people have with the administration in regard to their response to terrorism. If you look at any reasonable acts that Trump supporters or people who want more restrictions on say immigration, people coming here as refugees when we don't have background systems at check.
Or how about linking up the databases between ISIS and local law enforcement when we know that some of the 9/11 hijackers were picked up on traffic infractions, none of that stuff has happened.
So when you allow acts of terrorism to occur and you don't take efforts to mitigate and to take enough efforts in the eyes of Trump and Trump supporters then yes, you're going to see those frustrations bubble up.
LEMON: Bob, what's your reaction?
BECKEL: Well, my reaction is first of all, if you want to guarantee terrorist attacks in the United States, follow Donald Trump's lead and ban Muslims from coming into the United States. It's the most ridiculous, and sophomoric and unintellectual thing I've ever heard. Now, there are good Muslims out there but when he talks like that, he
does -- Hillary is right, he becomes a recruiting tool. We have -- would you think somehow and if there was a ban on Muslims coming into this country, that would not have happened last night, you think that any of the rest of it would not have happened? No, more of it will happen, and that's the problem. Donald Trump is encouraging terrorism by banning Muslims.
LEMON: Yes. Mark, I have to ask you about because the Clinton campaign just e-mail their supporters this, I think you have a copy of this. It's pretty long and I don't want to read all of it, but you can put it up here or maybe I will, I don't know.
Today, it said, "Friend, today during in an interview, I was asked if Donald Trump is qualified to be president, my answer was no. This week alone, he has alienated Great Britain one of our closest allies, and praise the reckless dictator in North Korea."
"A qualified nominee would recognize that either of those statement is a colossal mistake. But a qualified nominee would also never suggest that we ban all Muslims from entering our country, violated our deeply held principle, of freedom of religion and endangering our partnerships with our allies, who are absolutely essential to the fight against terrorism."
So, no. Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. But if we don't work as hard as we can every day from now until November 8th, which I think it's a big thing for him to say, he will be the next president of the United States."
[22:54:58] So, Phil, I wasn't going to read all of it but I had to read all of it because I read all of Donald Trump which is "The world is counting on us to win. I know you won't let us down -- let me down. Chip in, and then she is going to send you a sticker and to help her all the way to the White House. So, what do you make of this?
PRESTON: Wow, get a sticker. No, you make out of it is exactly what Beckel said. The bottom line is that we're taking a very serious situation, and they're both politicizing it to the point where...
LEMON: Raising funds off of it.
PRESTON: That she is now trying to raise money off of it, he is trying to destroy her off of it, she is trying to destroy him off of it, there is a definitely, a reason for these two to discuss major issues such as terrorism, for them to debate it.
But it's unfortunate, and it will never change that it does down into politicizing it, and that's exactly what we've seen in the last 12 or 15 hours.
LEMON: Mark, John, and Bob, thanks. I appreciate it.
LEMON: When we come right back, it's just before dawn in Cairo, and we're going to have the very latest on the investigation.
Plus, here at home, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battle for the nomination, what will it take to bring the democrats together?
LEMON: Top of the hour, 11 p.m. on the East Coast, 5 a.m. in Cairo where the investigation of Egypt flight, EgyptAir Flight 804 is entering day two.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The search for any sign of the plane and the 66 people on board intensifying.
[23:00:00] As U.S. officials fear the plane was taken down by a terrorist bomb.
Meanwhile, the candidates are battling over the politics of terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We have seen how Donald Trump is being used to essentially be a recruiter...
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